The Director- General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, has said the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has initiated plans to create a national policy on Blue Economy.
Peterside made this known in Lagos on Thursday during an enlightenment workshop organised for directors of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).
According to him, the national policy on Blue Economy would address issues bordering on aquatics, marine space and all aspects of the nation’s economy as it affects the seas and oceans.
Peterside said that Africa remained underdeveloped in spite of the numerous geographical advantages as well as other natural resources in the region.
He said that the continent’s inability to unlock the inherent potential in the seas and oceans stifled its economic growth over the years.
“There is a relationship between the seas and oceans and wealth creation. The problem with Africa is that it still relies on natural resources to a large extent but the top 10 countries in terms of rapid economic growth are actively involved in the blue economy,” the director-general said.
The NIMASA boss also said that Africa’s wrong impression about piracy was responsible for the continent’s absence on the list of top shipping nations in the world.
Peterside also noted that climate vulnerability, poor infrastructure, terrorism and legislative vacuum were the challenges militating against development of Africa’s blue economy.
The Blue Economy covers both aquatic and marine spaces including oceans, sea, coasts, lakes, rivers and underground waters.
Peterside said that there is need to create an institutional framework or structure for coordinating the inter-ministerial commission for seabed resources to achieve the potentials of Blue Economy
The NIMASA boss urged Nigerians to exploit opportunities within the Blue Economy.